An off-duty police officer and mother of two has died after she tried to help an elderly woman cross a busy road.
Amber Joy Leist, 41, saw an elderly woman fall while she was crossing the street at Valley Village, California on Sunday morning.
Ms Leist parked her car and went to help the woman, and was then struck by a vehicle when she tried to get back to her car.
In surveillance footage seen by local channel KTLA, Ms Leist is seen helping the woman to the footpath, then being struck by the oncoming car, while running back to her personal car, which sent her “hurtling into the air”.
She was taken to hospital and then pronounced dead a short while after, according to ABC News (US).
The driver who struck Ms Leist reportedly stopped at the scene and is working with investigators, according to the Los Angeles Times. The incident is being treated as an accident.
Ms Leist was a detective for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, at the West Hollywood station, where she had been for five years. Before that she worked at the Lancaster station, and she started her career at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic.
Ms Leist is being remembered for her kind heart, due to her empathetic and thoughtful nature. Captain Edward Ramirez told KTLA-TV she took the majority of the station’s domestic violence cases.
“Bouncing around the station, [she had a] wonderful personality, so full of life and vibrancy," Captain Ramirez told KTLA.
“I know that this world lost a little bit of its lustre without Amber.”
Ms Leist had two sons, aged 17 and 20, the older of the two is serving in the Navy.
“It was heroic for her to go out that way,” her son Daniel told KTLA.
“I love her for that. She’s always had a kind heart.”
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva paid his respects to Ms Leist on Twitter, saying the department was “shocked” and “stunned” by the sudden loss of a “family member”.
“She was an outstanding detective who leads by example,” the tweet said.
A seperate tweet added the police force will “always be there” for Ms Leist’s two sons.
Today, @LASDHQ is grieving. We are shocked/stunned by the sudden loss of a family member. Amber Leist, a @WHDLASD detective, and 12 year veteran of LASD, was fatally struck by a vehicle in @LACity while assisting others. She was an outstanding detective who lead by example. pic.twitter.com/PcNIlAfTz8— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) January 13, 2020
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